Wednesday, 10 October 2012

Afflicted, Brandon Shire

A nice love story about  a blind man and a male prostitute.
- Review by Cindi

This is a beautifully written story.  I am not simply referring to the story as a whole.  I am referring to the actual writing.  This is so unlike what I normally read and that alone was refreshing.

The characters are wonderfully written.  Hunter is a blind gay man who is adamant about his independence.   While reading, I often forgot that he was blind because of that independence.  Hunter may not be able to see but he is not written where it comes across as a disability.  The blindness is part of Hunter and it is who he is but he is not defined by it. The more I read the more I could see why Hunter is the way he is.  He grew up with a very overbearing and too protective mother who treated him simply as a blind person who would not be able to function without her instead of someone who should be allowed to grow and learn how to live on his own.  Then there's Dillon.  Dillon is a high-priced escort.  He was forced out of his family home when he was sixteen because of his homosexuality.  Forced to live on the streets, he survived by doing things that he is now, as an adult, not proud of.  He did what he had to do to survive, period. 

Hunter and Dillon meet by chance and quickly begin a tentative relationship.  In the beginning it is based strictly on sex.  It does not take long before they are both feeling more but they can't express this because of the nature of their relationship. The relationship is really not defined for either of them at first.  Hunter has issues with Dillon's profession which become quite obvious the more the story unfolds.  Dillon feels that he will never be good enough for Hunter.

There is a small group of secondary characters that add to the story.  There is Hunter's only real friend, a female, who comes across as pushy and way too protective at times.  Of course this is because of the love she has for her friend and she doesn't want to see him get hurt.  There is Hunter's mother.  While some details about Hunter's childhood are brought out there are still quite a few left unexplained.  There is the owner of the escort service that Dillon works for.  And there is a mentor to Dillon who picked him up off the streets when he was close to death years earlier.

Hunter and Dillon's relationship is odd but it seems to work.  As they spend time with each other, more and more details emerge about each but there are still questions left unanswered.  The sex is written very well.  Hunter and Dillon do not communicate very well and while that was extremely frustrating at times, it was also understandable.  There is also a twist that happens toward the end that I could have never predicted.  This opened the door for so much more of Hunter and Dillon's story.

This is really the beginning of the story as so many things are left unresolved at the end.  Had I not read that there was a sequel due out soon, I might have been frustrated by how it ended. Now I am simply eager to get to the next story. I can not wait to see where Hunter and Dillon go from here.

Overall, a very enjoyable read.  The writing style is excellent and the author does an outstanding job with the descriptions and dialogue.  This is my first by this author and I look forward to not only the sequel to this story but to reading everything he has to offer.


Reviewer Note:  I discovered after the fact that 10% of the proceeds from the purchase of this book and others by this author are being donated to gay youth charitable organizations.  This fact alone would have pushed me in the right direction had I known in advance.


  1. I like the sound of this book, will buy it and read it. Like the reviewers note at the bottom. Really nice thing to do by Brandon Shire. I'm impressed, on all counts.

    1. This is something I know you would enjoy. I didn't know until I was almost done with my review that the author was donating part of the proceeds to gay youth charities. Had I known that I would have read it sooner. The fact that I loved the book is a bonus.

  2. Thank you so much for this wonderful review. I'm glad you enjoyed the story.

    1. You're welcome, Brandon. It is an amazing story. I can't wait to see where you take Dillon and Hunter next. I will be one of the first to buy the sequel. :)